Eight Ways To Fix Street Fighter V
The launch of Street Fighter V was rough. Server issues plagued the first 36 hours of the game’s release, making for a frustrating introduction for fans eager to jump into the new title. While those server problems have improved, they further accentuated the meager offline options. As it stands now, Street Fighter V is a disappointment, but it’s not beyond saving. The game has a long way to go, but it still has the potential to turn into a great game with the right support.
As I mentioned in my review, Street Fighter V’s gameplay is excellent. I love playing through several matches at a time, but there just isn’t enough content to keep me occupied when I don’t feel like playing online against players who are often far more skilled than I am. I sometimes want to kick back and experience the game in a mode that doesn’t involve any other human players. That is the area that Street Fighter V must improve on the most as it pushes forward into its schedule of content delivery. These are the things Capcom and Dimps must do in order to let Street Fighter V achieve its full potential.
Bring Back Arcade Mode
Though Street Fighter V already has the next seven months laid out, more needs to be done within that timeframe. Some very basic features from the series’ past are completely missing, the biggest of which is arcade mode.
Survival mode attempts to take arcade mode’s place, but it doesn’t deliver the variety of that classic mode. By adding a competent arcade mode to its feature set, Street Fighter V would benefit not only from that mode’s greater sense of variety, but also from the addition of the series’ trademark bonus stages.
Get The Challenges And Lobby Features Out Soon
Before Street Fighter V launched, Capcom presented a roadmap for content that will hit the game for the majority of 2016. The schedule consists of free content updates as well as several premium DLC characters that can be earned through in-game currency or purchased with real money. Capcom desperately needs to stick to this plan if it wants to keep its already upset player base engaged for long enough to enjoy its long-term content plans, but an acceleration of this timeline would greatly benefit its players.
March looks to add two features sorely missing from the launch version of Street Fighter V. Combo challenges and the ability to create a lobby with up to eight people with spectator capabilities are modes that should have been in the game when it shipped, so it’s good that Capcom seems to be prioritizing these sorely missed features.
Despite this prioritization, a month feels too long to wait for such basic features. Capcom and Dimps should look at accelerating that timeline and pushing these modes out as quickly as they can. Obviously, a broken lobby system would hardly garner goodwill lost from its shallow launch offerings, but even if the challenges mode can eek out sooner than March, it would do wonders for novice players looking to learn to compete in the fires of the online modes.
Reprioritize Story Mode
The cinematic story mode being set for June didn’t seem so bad when it was first announced because it was assumed that the story mode at launch would occupy more time. Instead, we were delivered a short and disappointing mode containing only a few fights per character on a very easy setting with still illustrations and narration between.
Capcom is still pushing ahead towards releasing the full cinematic story mode in June, but is it the third most important mode addition? Big story modes in fighting games can be great – just look at Mortal Kombat – but so many basic features are missing from Street Fighter V that it would make sense for Capcom to work on other features first.
On the next page, we look at other ways Capcom and Dimps can improve on Street Fighter V.
Let Us Fight The CPU In Versus
Versus mode would also benefit from adding back in a feature that is missing. Being able to play against the CPU in a single match and stage matches between two CPU fighters is a basic function that should have been included when it released. When combined with the arcade mode, versus mode CPU fights add a substantial level of replayability to those who don’t like heading online.
Give Us Back The Character Select Screen Online
Street Fighter V is viewed as a regression in many ways. Even something as small as allowing players to select their fighter before each ranked and casual online match would be a step up – particularly as the roster continues to expand over the next several months (and potentially years). It worked in Street Fighter IV’s network battles, so why was it removed from Street Fighter V?
The online portion seems to have been the focus for the launch product, but even the options available to players in network battles pale in comparison to what was offered in Ultra Street Fighter IV. I know that Ultra IV is the culmination of nearly a decade of expansions and updates, but when you consider the feature set, massive character roster, and online modes available, what incentive is Capcom providing players to pick up Street Fighter V at the higher price outside of competing in the latest game?
Borrow From Mortal Kombat
Street Fighter V heads in some new directions such as allowing players to earn their DLC characters, but it doesn’t need to innovate as much when templates for success are already available. It already looks like it could be learning from its old rival, Mortal Kombat, by adding a cinematic story mode (albeit post-launch), but Mortal Kombat X has more it can teach Street Fighter V about offering meaningful single-player content.
Outside of the traditional ladder-style arcade mode and engrossing single-player cinematic story, Mortal Kombat X introduced living towers, a series of challenges that is constantly changing. This adds an enormous amount to its replayability as players can expect to come back every hour, day, or week and find new ways to interact with the game.
The mode throws different variables at players at every turn, and gives interesting challenges like low gravity or draining health – things that break up the straight-laced combat of Street Fighter in ways that don’t permeate the other modes to disrupt the tried-and-true formula.
Don’t Stop Trying New Things
Taking risks is great for the medium. That’s how we get new innovations. Before Street Fighter V should take these risks and push to give players something new and outside of the box, the team needs to make sure they have the basics in place.
Once those expected modes and features are available, it would be great for Capcom and Dimps to begin trying to deliver new experiences players don’t know they want. As it stands now, Street Fighter V tries some new things, but it hardly pushes the genre forward outside of its great gameplay. By taking more risks as the timeline stretches further into the future, the team will give players the longevity in features to complement the deep gameplay already present. Even bolstering its community with extra tournaments and challenges would go a long way.
Reward Early Adopters
With so many gamers upset about the launch state of Street Fighter V, Capcom would be wise to make it up to them in some way. New game modes and features are arriving as free updates, but DLC characters can be earned through gameplay. The easiest way to thank early adopters for picking up the game before it’s even close to feature complete would be to deposit fight money.
Gifting players who buy the game before a certain date (maybe set the cut-off as the first free update) with the in-game currency used to purchase DLC fighters would make those fans feel more appreciated. In doing so, Capcom would make good with the fans that were passionate enough to pick the game up at launch, and solidify them as the evangelists of the game the publisher wants them to be.
How do you want Capcom and Dimps to improve Street Fighter V? Let us know in the comments section!